Map Bangladesh
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Bangladesh


Background: Europeans began to set up trading posts in the area of Bangladesh in the 16th century; eventually the British came to dominate the region and it became part of British India. In 1947, West Pakistan and East Bengal (both primarily Muslim) separated from India (largely Hindu) and jointly became the new country of Pakistan. East Bengal became East Pakistan in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-part country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 km left the Bengalis marginalized and dissatisfied. East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh. A military-backed, emergency caretaker regime suspended parliamentary elections planned for January 2007 in an effort to reform the political system and root out corruption. In contrast to the strikes and violent street rallies that had marked Bangladeshi politics in previous years, the parliamentary elections finally held in late December 2008 were mostly peaceful and Sheikh HASINA Wajed was elected prime minister. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development.
Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India
Area land: 130,168 sq km
Area water: 13,830 sq km
Coastline: 580 km
Country name conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh
Country name conventional short form: Bangladesh
Country name former: East Bengal, East Pakistan
Population: 158,570,535 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 34.3% (male 27,551,594/female 26,776,647); 15-64 years: 61.1% (male 45,956,431/female 50,891,519); 65 years and over: 4.7% (male 3,616,225/female 3,778,119) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.566% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 22.98 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 5.75 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.57 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female; total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 50.73 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 53.23 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 48.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69.75 years; male: 67.93 years; female: 71.65 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 2.6 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 6,300 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 200 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Bangladeshi(s); adjective: Bangladeshi;
Ethnic groups: Bengali 98%, other 2% (includes tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims) (1998);
Religions: Muslim 89.5%, Hindu 9.6%, other 0.9% (2004);
Languages: Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English;
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 47.9%; male: 54%; female: 41.4% (2001 Census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $259.3 billion (2010 est.); $244.6 billion (2009 est.); $231.4 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $100.1 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 6% (2010 est.); 5.7% (2009 est.); 6% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,700 (2010 est.); $1,600 (2009 est.); $1,500 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 18.4%; industry: 28.7%; services: 52.9% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 40% (2010 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 8.8%; highest 10%: 26.6% (2008);
Labor force: 73.87 million;
note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia; workers' remittances were $10.9 billion in FY09/10 (2010 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 45%; industry: 30%; services: 25% (2008);
Unemployment rate: 4.8% (2010 est.); 5.1% (2009 est.);
note: about 40% of the population is underemployed; many participants in the labor force work only a few hours a week, at low wages

Budget: revenues: $11.43 billion; expenditures: $15.9 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar;
Industrial production growth rate: 6.4% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 25.62 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 23.94 billion kWh (2009 est.);
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.


Bangladesh News 24 Hours

(24 hour news coverage), Karwan Bazar Dhaka

Dainik Jugantor

(Independent, daily newspaper), Dhaka

Dainik Purbanchal

(Daily newspaper of South-Western Bangladesh), Khulna

New Age

(Left-wing daily newspaper), Dhaka

Bangladesh in the News

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Displaying 5 to 8 of 12 items.

New Playground of Jihad

In a new fact-loaded book, veteran Indian editor-cum-journalist Hiranmay Karlekar analyzes a rising threat to security in South Asia: Bangladesh's drift toward fundamentalist Islam.

Expensive H.I.V. Drugs Further Instability in South Asia

Although concern among the South Asian population about the spread and impact of H.I.V./AIDS is significant, governments continue to give the problem a low priority.

Bangladesh: Fertile Ground for Democracy or Extremism?

“Lately Bangladesh has gained notoriety for the spread of Islamic extremism, but jihadis don’t spring from the ground like mushrooms.”

How the Sari Guards Against Cholera

In an article for Zurich's conservative Neue Z├╝rcher Zeitung, Hermann Feldmeier reports on research showing that straining water through a sari reduces the rate of cholera infection.